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August 22, 2016

Looking Inside a Glacier

Here we provide a visual look inside a glacier in the North Cascades of Washington.  Glaciers are not all the same, but the key internal ingredients in summer typically are in varied ratios: ice, meltwater, sediment and biologic material.  In this case there are torrents of water pouring through the interior of the glacier, generated at the surface the day we are filming.  We do measure the discharge and velocity …


September 4, 2015

Visualizing Glacier Melt Impacts

Key questions emerge from the summer of 2015 in the Pacific Northwest glacier basins. That can both be visualized and quantified. With record temperatures and minimum flows in most rivers in the Cascade Range during July and August of 2015, a key question was how much did glaciers contribute in basins that are glaciated?  Note the water pouring off the glacier and the lack of snowcover in the first few …


September 25, 2014

Glacier Ice Worms in Action

On glaciers in the coastal ranges of the Pacific Northwest glacier ice worms thrive. Their diet as far as we have seen from looking in their gut is algae. They cannot survive during daylight hours on the surface of the snow with even indirect solar radiation. They can survive on the surface of glacier ice if bathed in meltwater. When we leave the edge of a glacier and cross onto …


June 17, 2012

Suiattle Glacier Retreat and Outcrop Emergence, North Cascades

C.E. Rusk in 1906 hiked right to the terminus of Suiattle Glacier, which is labelled Lion’s Paw in Rusk (1924). The glacier had retreated 1400 m since its Little Ice Age maximum and based on the lack of reported brush below the glacier, this retreat had occurred primarily in the previous 30 years. By 1940 the glacier had retreated another 900 m back to within 120 m of its current …